California Housing Finance Agency helps teachers buy homes

Posted by BoNhia Lee on December 3, 2013 

The California Housing Finance Agency is helping teachers statewide with down payment assistance to buy their first house.

Teachers and staff who work in a high priority school district - those with low Academic Performance Index scores - can apply for the agency’s Extra Credit Teacher Program which offers down payment assistance in the form of a junior loan, the state housing agency announced on Monday.

In Fresno County, teachers in 14 school districts including Fresno Unified, Central, Madera and Sanger, could qualify for the program.

Here’s how it works: The amount of help depends on location and the sales price of the home. In non high-cost areas, like Fresno, the down payment help is either $7,500 or 3% of the sales price, whichever is greater.

In high-cost areas, such as the Bay Area or Southern California, the assistance is $15,000 or 3% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less.

“Few teachers, especially at the beginning or even in the middle of their careers, can afford to buy a house in California,” said Claudia Cappio, executive director. “We want to make buying their first home a reality for them, just as they help many students reach their goals.”

Program participants are not required to pay back the loan until the house is refinanced, sold or the mortgage is paid off.

To qualify, teachers and staff must be first-time buyers, meet income and sales price limits, and complete the agency’s homebuyer education course.

For more information, visit the California Housing Finance Agency.

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